Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot Potato

One potato, two potato, three potato, four.  Misty's Dine by Design leaves us wanting more, more, more.

Newcomers to our community won't know, that earlier this summer we challenged willing readers to host Dine By Design gatherings at their homes.  The gatherings are meant to do two things.  First, they are meant to serve as fundraisers for Highlowaha's, Gift of 218 (our blog's philanthropy designed to provide memorable experiences to families who could otherwise never afford it).  Second, the gathering are meant to be venues for showcasing your creativity.

Loyal friend and reader, Misty fulfilled both goals, beautifully.   Today I will take a page out of Cheryl's playbook.  I'll let photographs from this weekend's event do the talking and inspiring.

First, some context.  In January, Misty invited me to a warm and cozy Potato Soup Party.  It was an invitation to hunker down with a fun group of women, to share a vat of award winning potato soup, and to enjoy casual conversation on a wide range of interesting topics.

Potato soup is great, but never in a million years did I think POTATOES interesting enough to serve as the leading lady in a Dine By Design gathering.  But, with Misty at the helm all things are possible.  Somehow she used nothing more than potatoes to serve as the inspiration for her Dine by Design Gathering.  Take a look. 

A true show stopper, look at Misty's centerpiece!  She made this flower arrangement using old potato chip bags.  Flowers were gathered and displayed in burlap bags donated by a local supermarket.

Using rustic-looking twine and clothespins, Misty strung a combination of burlap bags and empty potato chip bags to serve as festive garland!

Even the backs of chairs had makeshift covers.  And, notice the red bandanna table cloth.  Details, details, details...

The spread of food was every bit as impressive as the decorations made by Misty.  The clincher... a pot luck luncheon with every dish containing some form of potato! Dips, muffins, casseroles, salads, and more.  

Carb City, baby.  I loved it!
Here are a few dishes up close and personal...



And yes, even potato chip cookies (my personal favorite)!
Beverages were the only thing for which potatoes were not required.  Strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas flowed freely while this dynamic group of 14 women sat pool side, sharing stories and... being philanthropists to boot!  Each party goer paid $10.00 to attend and all tolled $145.00 was raised for Gift of 218.  All in a hard day's work.

So how about you?  Could you throw an entire party centered around something so seemingly banal as a potato?  If so, what might you add?  If not, what kind of party would you throw?  And while you're at it, why not go ahead and throw it?  Give it a whirl.  You'll have fun and a good cause will benefit.

Whose party will be featured next?  I can hardly wait to see. 

Signing off until tomorrow...  


Peggy said...

Yikes, did I scare everybody away? My dh thinks that some alien spaceship (I know, it sounds like we're crazy, we're really not) came while we were sleeping and took our entire neighborhood! It was so quiet all weekend long when we walked the dogs, EVERYONE must be on vacation!!

A lot of very creative touches here to this Potato Party! Great pictures two, you can almost smell the cheesiness!!!

Happy Day y'all! Where ever you are......

Chaotic said...

wow, that is great... Idaho is looking for Misty!

Anonymous said...

For potato beverages there could have been vodka:)

Claudia said...

Yes, Misty's party was a spectacle and a great example of how we are all creative in our own right.

Anonymous... nice touch. I'll pass it along in the event she turns her summer potato party into a tradition like her winter party is.

The potato sacks were a perfect addition. In the event she couldn't have gotten them donated, maybe Misty could have used Pringle cans. They kind of resemble bud vases, don't they.

Also, what about a round of hot potato for a small prize or to determine who gets sent home with all the left overs!

Claudia said...

AShley, If you're out there, tell me this... Did today's short background provided today, about Dine by Design, help you feel in the loop?

I am wondering how much detail newcomers or occassional readers would like without loading you down with too much (and boring daily readers).

You hit the nail on the head of our dilemma. Highlowaha strives to be more than just a source of information or creative ideas. Ultimately it wants to be a community of readers who gather because of our mutual interest in creativity.

That said... how do find a balance of creativity and community when most of you are tuning in once a day for 15 minutes or so?

Million dollar question.

Thanks to all of you who took time out yesterday to provide some thoughtful input.

Cheryl said...

That Misty is so darn clever!!! I love those Potato chip bag flowers.

I'm still contemplating my Dine by Design but let's see... if I could throw a party around a piece of food like Misty did what would I choose? Hmmm... Tomato. It's versatile. I know the drinks- Bloody Mary's. :)

Katie K said...

Good afternoon, HLA!

Just a quick check-in from me as I'm wrapping things up here at UTA before I head back to Kentucky on Wednesday morning.

Misty's potato chip party was fantastic! She hit it from every angle- great guests, creative decorations, fun entertainment, etc. I loved the big check they presented to us! That definitely raised the bar for Dine by Design parties...thanks, Misty!

heather said...

Okay so I'm late in the game today...a rainy Monday morning in Grapevine made for a late start for the Snow clan.
I'm not gonna lie and say I don't struggle with party isn't my forte mainly due to space constraints. So here is my challenge to readers. If I can do it so can you...let's all commit to hosting 10 of our closest friends for a Dine by Design party to raise money for 218! Misty paved the way for us so it is easier for us to figure things out (I love the idea of an entry fee for some type of contest!).
Here is what I think I might do. I think I'll host a potluck gathering at work centered around this monopoly card game that everyone here is addicted to. A $10 entry fee into the game and I'll fund a fun prize for the winner.
Remember this is all for a VERY good cause with the Gift of 218!!!

Can we count on you?

Cristine perhaps this is something Struble Suds could get behind? Maybe opening day you could charge an entry fee at the door or charge a tap fee? already have your theme all worked out so it isn't ANY extra work...what do you think?

Peggy maybe you could have a card making workshop for your daughter's friends and have a $10 entry fee for a contest of who designs the best card?

Also don't forget that we have nominations forms available over on the 218 page...if you know of a deserving family please submit their information...we have some enough funding to grant at least two more experiences.

Claudia said...

Nice idea, Heather. Mine is going to be a Murder Mystery dinner -
50's style.

What I love about our Dine by Design concept is that it is every much about building community and creativity as it is about fundraising.

The perfect fit for our group.

b.k.root said...

Very cool "dine by design"... I'm impressed. I would have made vases out of Pringles cans for your flowers.

Robin said...

Claudia: Perhaps a link to the history would suffice? So when you say X hosted a Dine by Design, the words are hyperlinked to go to the original post.

I'm glad someone did a dine by design I had no clue what it really was and I read the first post. I'm so slow these days!

Claudia said...

Robin (and others)... Maybe when we get a few more under our belt, you'll consider hosting one. By then you will have lots of examples from which to draw.

Chaotic said...

I will say I twiddled with the notion of Dine by Design. And my friends are probably willing (hell, they are usually here eating anyways!). They especially would be up for it if I made it for a local gal here we all love but that is still (a year later) out of work. My challenge?? THE FOOD. We all have an issue with something. 1-no yeast of any type. Another, no corn or soy. And, still 1 more, no gluten or wheat. One is vegan. One is allergic to dairy. One does not do any refined white flour or white sugar. One is extreme diabetic. And so it goes. When we gather every couple of weeks, it is potluck so you know you can eat what you brought. So.. ideas to help me out?

That said... how do I find balance of creativity and community when I am tuning in once a day for 15 minutes or so? 1st, I come back several times a day, just to read what others have posted. 2, I post at the end of the day, after rereading, to see what else might be jarred loose for me. 3rd, I try to be active, vocal, constructive, supportive and enthusiastic. Not all topics speak to me so I do the ones I can. and, lastly (ha! you wish) I share the things going on with ppl in my F2F Circles (art, friends, book group, movie club, spiritual).